What Does Carbon Neutral Mean?
One of the easiest ways you can help improve the environment is going carbon neutral specifically relating to the foods you eat. When you go carbon neutral, it means that you produce almost no carbon emissions in your day-to-day activities. You remove your carbon debt by purchasing carbon offsets. In other words, you don’t have a carbon footprint based on your activities, eating and travel habits. Therefore, you are not contributing to the problems of carbon pollution in the atmosphere. There are numerous ways you can start to go carbon neutral in the foods you eat at home and one the go.
In the production of food, there is a lot of carbon emissions which get produced. Farm equipment and tractors use electricity and gas when they operate their equipment and also process our food. The truck drivers use diesel fuel which impacts our environment when they transport food to the supermarkets. Supermarkets, in turn, use lots of electricity and power in the refrigeration process and lights to preserve the food. Since we have been using land and water inefficiently for a long time, this has resulted in causing global warming.
How You Can Contribute to Being Carbon Neutral
Here are some ways you can contribute to helping the climate by changing the way you eat:
- Purchase locally grown foods.This cuts down on the gas, emissions and transportation of getting these products to your house. Purchase from organic farmers. They do not use as many chemicals or pesticides, further lessening the emissions to our environment.
- Incorporate as many vegetables and grains as possible into your diet. These foods require less energy expenditure to produce. The vegetarian footprint is 2/3 of the average American’s intake and ½ of a meat lovers.
- Recycle leftovers and containers so they do not end up filling the landfills. Landfill waste results in increased greenhouse gasses which occur as a result of decomposition.
- Reduce the amount of meat you eat in your diet. Red meat is the most carbon intensive out of the various food groups. According to an Agriculture and Consumer Protection report, meat production has a larger carbon footprint. It results in 18% of global emission rom livestock. Eating chicken instead of beef cuts a quarter of emissions as well.
- Eat fruits that are in season. Eating fruit that is in season also helps to lower the emissions and helps you to do your part in decreasing pollution.
The less carbon intensive foods are oils, snacks and cereals. Their carbon footprint is much smaller than the protein-driven foods. Low losses and waste of the oils, snacks and cereals help with keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum. Fruits and vegetables have less of a carbon footprint but tend to have higher waste by consumers as well as through their supply chain.
The good part is a lot of these changes are healthier for you as well. Eating foods which are more carbon neutral decrease your risk of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Not only are you lessening your carbon footprint, but you are also helping to improve and optimize your health as well. Saving the earth and your body with one carbon neutral food at a time is not a bad deal at all if you think about it!